When the revolution in Rojava began, the groundwater level was very low due mainly to industrial monoculture agriculture organised by the Syrian regime over the last four decades, as well as a decline in rainfall as a result of the global climate crisis.
In 2015, Turkey started to use water as a weapon against Rojava by holding back the water on the rivers which flow from Turkey to Syria through the dams it has been building over the last twenty years.
Then, in October 2019, Turkish state forces invaded some areas of North-East Syria, including the region of Serekaniye, which supplies water to almost half a million people in the region around Hasakah. The Alouk water station in Serekaniye was targeted on the first day of the invasion. Since then it has been fixed and then put out of service again repeatedly.
Since the start of the invasion of Serekaniye, Turkish military forces and their allies have continued to attack water infrastructure, burned newly planted orchards and dammed the rivers providing most of the fresh water and electricity to Syria. Hundreds of thousands of people are currently without safe reliable drinking water, a situation only exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the articles below, you can find more information about issues surrounding water and the struggles for water autonomy in North and East Syria. There are also articles here with information on issues around water in southeastern Turkey, such as Turkish megaproject the Ilisu Dam, whose waters have now submerged the ancient city of Hasankeyf, drowning thousands of years of largely unexcavated human history and displacing an estimated 100,000 people, while giving Turkey unprecedented control over waters of the wider region.